For a few hours, 360 prospective medical students celebrated getting into the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine.
But their joy was short-lived.
Because of a “technical error,” the applicants received acceptance letters Thursday afternoon when they shouldn’t have. When Mayo officials realized the mistake, they sent a second e-mail withdrawing the acceptance letters.
Almost immediately, frustrated applicants turned to social media and forums, expressing anger and angst.
“Oh no. God, no. I told everyone! I sent the screenshot of my acceptance. We already planned a party tonight,” said one post. “Sweet Jesus, why?”
Others posted comments expressing dismay over Mayo’s handling of the mix-up.
“Mistakes happen … but the second e-mail that didn’t even apologize was the last straw,” said one post. “Just sent them an e-mail withdrawing my application.”
Others plan to use condiments to deliver a message of discontent. A Reddit thread that suggested sending expired mayonnaise to the school attracted a stream of comments.
“Hell hath no fury like a pre-med scorned,” one Reddit poster wrote.
On Friday, Mayo officials responded to media inquiries with a written statement, saying they “deeply regret having caused disappointment to these applicants.” Mayo officials are continuing to investigate the error, the statement said.
The medical school receives a large number of applications from across the country and globe, Mayo spokeswoman Ashley Peck said in a telephone interview.
The number of applications fluctuates each year, she said, adding that she didn’t have an estimate but that it is generally more than 360.
Mayo recently sent acceptance letters to those actually accepted to the 50 spots in the program that begins in August, Peck said. But none of the 360 students sent the erroneous e-mail on Thursday were among those 50, she said.
Asked if they were being wait-listed or rejected, Peck said she wasn’t sure.
In addition to the e-mail, Mayo officials said staff and student volunteers finished calling each of the 360 not-accepted-applicants by Friday.
The school wanted to personally apologize — “to make that personal connection on behalf of the medical school,” Peck said.